I put up 10 1/2 lbs of apricots - in jam! One of my friends said I made it look too easy. Putting up jam is really easy in terms of technical skills but it is time consuming with all the picking, pitting and dicing. The process of making jam itself is easy - just follow the directions on the pectin package. I use the low sugar pectin choice and it allows for apple juice and honey rather than refined sugar so it's healthier but still delicious.
Here's my secret: the key to successful cooking, baking and jam making is to put your IPOD on shuffle or a particular playlist and CRANK UP THE VOLUME.
The apricot jam was a mixture of Annie Lenox, Erin Bode, Antigone Rising, k.d. Lang, Carole King, Eva Cassidy, Shea Seiger and Barbra Streisand's Duets album.
The cherry jam was Warren Hill, Andrea Bocelli, Vaughn Williams and Antonin Dvorak's Symphony #9.
Mulberry jam was Five for Fighting, Michael Buble, Leona Lewis, Julia Fordham, Eric Clapton and a little country with George Strait and Aaron Neville.
Now baking bread - that's rock and roll. The Beatles always make the playlist, a little Rolling Stone and The Big Chill or Dirty Dancing soundtracks allow some dance moves around the kitchen in between kneading.
Music makes cooking and baking a special experience. I've often thought that people don't like to cook because they never learned the music element - the two go together as a perfect mix. CRANK UP THE MUSIC and cook or bake something!